A Few Things to Expect When Listing Your Home for Sale

February 6, 2015

Thinking about sprucing up your home in time for an early spring listing? Whether you are an old hand at this or a first-timer, there are quite a few points to keep in mind that should make the process easier.

Hopefully, you’ve already made all of the necessary repairs, updated tired furnishings and have the yard and exterior areas looking their best. Also, perhaps you’ve hired a home stager or tackled that job yourself. Did you remember the rule of thumb regarding home staging that suggests removing 90 percent of a home’s contents? If all of those areas have been addressed, are you ready for these?

Ready, set, sell!

When the for-sale sign appears in the yard, chances are your realtor has already taken photos and video and placed your home in the MLS-Multiple Listing Service and on their firm’s website. That means that now other real estate agents and prospective buyers will be able to get all the details on your place.

Nowadays having a lockbox installed on the front door is a common practice. It makes it much more convenient for agents to show your property when you are not there. This idea makes many sellers recoil at first and granted, takes a little getting used to. However, keep in mind that agents are going to be more eager to show homes that have easy access.

Entice would be buyers with an open house.

This is a biggie and your agent will undoubtedly walk you through. Just know that things will need to be impeccably clean and organized! Many agents will supply several vases of cut flowers, refreshments and balloons for your for-sale sign.

There are usually two types of open houses – one for real estate agents so they can become familiar with the listing and its selling points (usually held during the week) and one for interested house hunters (usually held on the weekend).

Depending on the situation, your agent may ask you to not be present or vice versa. Most realtors agree that it is best for the sellers to stay away from such events.

Big bang and then nada…

It is a typical phenomenon that traffic and interest is the heaviest during the first three weeks that a property enters the market. If things seem to really fizzle after 30 days or so, do not get discouraged. Buyers are often out there making their lists and checking them twice, which tends to be a slow and methodical process.

It appears that lately, the national average for the DOM (days on market), is right around 60 to 90 days. So, just keep things tidy and organized and hope for the best.

Make it work.

For those with kids and pets, it can be really tricky to keep a home ready to show at a moment’s notice. Devise a quick clean and pickup routine and alert family members that this is not a dress rehearsal. One suggestion is to provide each family member with their own laundry basket so they can make a clean sweep at lightning speed. Then, stow them away in a private spot-like the trunk of the car until there is time to put them away properly.

See related post, “Low Cost Ways to Stage Your Home for Sale.”

Be patient and strategize.

Most sellers get a little antsy after six weeks. It may be time to explore other marketing options with your real estate agent, such as posting a video on YouTube or holding a more formal wine and cheese open house.

Also, if there has been a fair amount of traffic, your agent may have a handle as to why no offers have come in. Perhaps they’ve heard that folks don’t like the outdated laminate countertop, dark paneling in the den or overgrown backyard. If you are serious about selling, it may be time to swallow your pride and get busy!